Portugal is a country of many riches – be it the breathtaking scenery, the exotic beaches or the rich culture of the people. There are cities like Lisbon and Aveiro, where you can sunbathe on their golden beaches or indulge in some traditional wine drinking, but not many people actually tend to explore Portugal beyond the mainland. Waiting beyond the mainland is a number of stunningly beautiful Portuguese islands, each one unique in its own way, but all equally amazing. We’ve made a list of the list of islands of Portugal that need to be on your itinerary when you plan to visit Portugal.
Top 10 Portuguese Islands
Move beyond the Portugal mainland. Make sure you also check out these heavenly islands nearby to fully explore this unmatched paradise in Europe. The weather at Portuguese islands is tropical throughout the year, so make the most of your time:
- Sao Miguel Island – For Sightseeing
- Cape Verde – To Relax By The Shore
- Ilha De Armona – Away From Chaos
- Madeira Island – For Pleasant Weather
- Pico – For Hiking
- Flores – Most Instagrammable Island
- Ilha Da Tavira – For A Perfect Day Trip
- Terceira Island – For Its Green Wine
- Porto Santo Island – For Scenic Beaches
- Faial Island – The Blue Island
1. Sao Miguel Island – For Sightseeing
This island is a part of the popular group of Azores Portuguese islands and the largest one of all the islands of this group. This island is known for its volcanic calderas, and the abundance of mineral hot springs, a perfect place to relax in after a long tiring day of sightseeing. This island is also known for its whale and dolphin watching tours which are easily available at any of the beaches. Portuguese island in Mozambique are known for their amazing sights.
How to get there: João Paulo II Airport
Best time to visit: April to November
Best restaurants: Botequim Açoriano, Tuká Tulá – Bar
Best places to stay: Azor Hotel, Grand Hotel Açores Atlântico
2. Cape Verde – To Relax By The Shore
This Portuguese island in Mozambique has the driest and favorable weather for tourists. It rarely gets too hot or too cold, therefore making for the perfect environment to relax by the shore. Overall this is one of the most culturally dynamic islands in all of Portugal, where you can indulge in some water sports activities like surfing, boating, and much more. This is one of the largest Portuguese islands off Africa, and Santiago, located in the capital city, Praia, is said to be the best island in this region. Make sure to drop by here to pursue adrenaline-inducing adventure activities.
How to get there: There are plenty of domestic and international airports in Cape Verde.
Best time to visit: November to June
Best restaurants: Morabeza Beach Bar & Lounge Restaurant, LobStar
Best places to stay: Hilton Cabo Verde Sal Resort, Outeler hotel
Suggested Read: A Guide To Help You Plan Your Portugal Honeymoon
3. Ilha De Armona – Away From Chaos
For those visiting the Algarve region and looking for a more secluded Portuguese island in Mozambique far away from the tourist chaos, head over to the Armona Island. It’s located not far off from the coast and is completely free from cars, people, and all in all feels like a different world altogether. Apart from the pleasantly warm sun and the crystal blue waters, Armona also offers some exemplary architecture on its streets, which only adds to the charm of this island. Book a trip to lha De Armona with your beau for some downtime.
How to get there: Ferry from Algarve
Best time to visit: NA
Best restaurants: A do fernando, António
Best places to stay: Armona, Orbitur Ilha de Armona
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4. Madeira Island – For Pleasant Weather
This island is definitely one of the most popular and sought after islands off Portugal in the North Atlantic region by tourists, and has millions of visitors every year. It’s also blessed with probably the most pleasant weather of the Portuguese islands. Unlike other islands, the Madeira island has not only beaches but also lush green dense forests that you can explore for hours. Apart from all these great things about the island, you can do some other exciting activities on this island like horse riding, kayaking, golf, paragliding and fishing. Portuguese islands holidays will remain incomplete if you don’t cross this place off you list, so make you sure you do that.
How to get there: Madeira Airport
Best time to visit: May to August
Best restaurants: Restaurante Caravela, Restaurante Lavrador
Best places to stay: Quinta da Casa Branca, Savoy Palace
5. Pico – For Hiking
The Pico island is famous for the volcano after which the island takes its name, and if you are thinking of holidays in Portuguese islands you definitely can’t miss out on this gem of a place. Ponta do Pico, the highest mountain in Portugal is the main point of attraction that can be seen from any point of the island. One of the best activities to do on this island during Portuguese islands holidays is hiking along the summit, which would make a day’s trip, and one of the most popular things done by tourists who visit this region.
How to get there: Pico Airport
Best time to visit: May to September
Best restaurants: Restaurante Ritinha, Canto do Paço
Best places to stay: Aldeia da Fonte Hotel, Intact Farm Bungalows
6. Flores – Most Instagrammable Island
You’ll be amazed at the spectacular beauty of this island among all the Portuguese islands, the name of which translates to ‘flower’. The beauty of the nature of this island is so treasured, by the locals and the tourists, that it has been declared as a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 2009. The beauty of this island lies in the many volcanic craters, which have been turned naturally into lakes, the green mountain sides, and the abundance of beautiful flowers on this island. Make sure to stop by here for some Instagram worthy shots.
Location: Azores Platform
How to get there: Flores Airport
Best time to visit: mid April to mid October
Best restaurants: Restaurante Sereia, Restaurante “Por-do-Sol”
Best places to stay: Aldeia da Cuada – Turismo de Aldeia, Aldeia dos Sonhos
7. Ilha Da Tavira – For A Perfect Day Trip
This is one of those Portuguese islands in the Atlantic that is perfect to visit for a day trip, among the many other places in Europe. The weather is very pleasant, and on the warmer days, the beach gets more crowded, and you have to go further if you want to find a secluded spot. The best part of this island is the many restaurants and cafes serving delicious fresh seafood and chilled mugs of beer, and the many water sports activities available at the beach. Make your Portuguese islands holidays memorable.
How to get there: Boat from Tavira
Best time to visit: NA
Best restaurants: Casa Corvo, Paiol
Best places to stay: Pousada Convento Tavira, Vila Monte Farm House
Suggested Read: 11 Best Places To Visit In Portugal, The Hidden Gem Of Europe
8. Terceira Island – For Its Green Wine
The third largest of the Azores groups of islands may not be the most developed of agriculturally advanced ones, but the beauty of it lies in the beautiful outdoor sights and activities, as well as the warmth and hospitality of the local people. This island is even home to an island known as the Castelo de São João Batista, which was once where the Portuguese fought against the Spanish. When on this island, don’t miss out on tasting a glass of green wine, a local specialty. You’ll be amazed at how fresh it is.
Location: Azores Platform
How to get there: Lajes Airport
Best time to visit: May to October
Best restaurants: Casa do Jardim, Tasca Das Tias
Best places to stay: Quinta do Oeste, Quinta do Espírito Santo
9. Porto Santo Island – For Scenic Beaches
This island, located north of Madeira, boasts of some of the best beaches in Portugal, covering a stretch of 4 miles of sandy white shores. Apart from the sandy beaches, this island is also known for its many historic landmarks such as the former house of the great explorer Christopher Columbus, a 15th century Matriz Church, the 16th-century Paços do Concelho and a town hall. Golfing and hiking are two other popular time pass activities on this island. You’ll be amazed by the plethora of avenues for entertainment here.
How to get there: Porto Santo Airport
Best time to visit: throughout the year
Best restaurants: Restaurante PITA, Snack Bar Escorpião
Best places to stay: Hotel Porto Santo & Spa, Vila Baleira Resort
10. Faial Island – The Blue Island
Otherwise known as the ‘Blue island’, this gorgeous island lies in the center of the Azores group of islands and has three main attractions for tourists to see: the sandy white beach shores, the magical volcanic craters, and the town of Horta. Some of the best activities on this island include exploring the Caldeira do Faial, relishing the delicious local cuisine, and watching the ships sail from a distance. Why would you want to miss that?
Location: Azores Platform
How to get there: Horta Airport
Best time to visit: May to October
Best restaurants: Restaurant Atletico, Genuíno Restaurante
Best places to stay: Quinta da Meia Eira, Hotel Sao Francisco
Now that you know all about the best Portuguese islands, it’s time to pack your swimsuits and sunscreen and book your tickets for your next vacation to Portugal. Contact us at Travel Triangle and let us plan your dream vacation for you in the best way possible. Make the most of the weather at Portuguese islands now!
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Frequently Asked Questions About the Portuguese Islands
What are the islands off Portugal called?
The islands off Portugal are Madeira Islands. They are 360 miles off the coast of North Africa. They are a cluster of islands but only two, Madeira and Porto Santo, are inhabited by humans.
Do you need a visa for the Portuguese islands?
Yes, you need a visa for the Portuguese islands.
Which Island has the highest point in Portugal?
Mount Pico (2351 m) at Pico Island is the highest point of Portugal.
Which is the best Azores island to visit?
São Miguel is one of the best Azores islands to visit.
Do the Azores have beaches?
Yes, Azores has around 40 beaches which are beautiful for a holiday!
How far are the Azores from Portugal?
Azores islands are at a distance of around 1,500 km from Lisbon.
Which is the best month to visit the Azores?
The best time to visit the Azores is from May to October.
How long is the flight from Portugal to the Azores?
The flight from Lisbon to the Azores is around 2.5 hours.
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